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August-September 2019 | Regulars

Tony Black – Rotary International Director’s Column

Tony Black – Rotary International Director’s Column

Hear from Rotary International Director, Tony Black, in his first column of the year.

With the changes just voted in at the Rotary in Great Britain & Ireland business meeting and the changes happening at Rotary International (RI), I feel I am at the leading edge of where RI and Rotary in Great Britain & Ireland want to be going over the next few years.

All very exciting, and I hope to play my part in these changes.

Some things do not change, and ending polio is still Rotary’s highest priority. There have been a number of setbacks over the last year, but we still have to persevere until the scourge of polio is eliminated from our planet.

Rotary membership is still our biggest internal challenge and Rotary leaders are playing their part in ‘Grow Rotary’ to address the massive challenge of falling Rotary membership worldwide.

While we should focus on Rotaract and the under 40’s, we should not lose focus on those over the age of 45 years.

That age group forms the core of Rotary. Many, some with grown up families, would like to give back to society what they have gained, find themselves reasonably well placed with spare time, and they should not be neglected. A judicious mix of both is required.

So, what of the future? What can Rotary do and get involved in?

I encourage all Rotarians to become more involved in environmental projects such as

  • Reducing plastic use
  • Beach clean ups
  • Discourage the release of balloons into the atmosphere, from where they fall to land or the sea and doing untold damage or death to many creatures, both on the land or in the sea

I am only learning about modern day slavery, about which I really knew nothing. It is estimated that there are 40 million slaves, hidden from view, spread over nearly every country and continent in the world. Surely it is the duty of us all to take action and end this crime against humanity.

Finally, I will do my best to help, advise, and encourage Rotarians around the world in any way I can.

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